Karnataka government is now mulling bringing a legal framework to protect the 100% reservation policy for Kannadigas. 100% reservation in private sector was announced by the labour department in December 2016.
The state government is now mulling bringing a legal framework to protect the 100% reservation policy for Kannadigas in blue-collar jobs. This is after the government was legally challenged over its pro-Kannada stance.
With the law department vetoing 100% reservation for C and D group (blue-collar) employees in private sector earlier this month, the issue has now landed in front of the advocate general (AG) for consideration. The department had cited that the 100% reservation policy in private sector would create legal challenges by curtailing the fundamental rights guaranteed in the Constitution by violating article 14 (right to equality) and article 16 (right of equal opportunity).
As part of this exercise, the AG along with the law department, labour department and Kannada development authority (KDA) members held a meeting earlier this week to consider possible alternatives. During the course of discussion, it was decided that the government will consider a law which will make the 100% reservation legally tenable.
As per initial plans, the proposed law will provide reservation for all those who have studied Kannada as a subject from Class 1 to 10. This would effectively mean that there will be no discrimination over the origin of the person applying for a job under C and D categories.
While this may be the case, there would be consideration of those who took Kannada as a subject later during their academics, and were denied an opportunity to study the language having stayed out of the state for a long duration and returning back.
Labour minister Santosh Lad said the government has still not considered implementing any option and all legal aspects are being looked into. “The law department will always have its way, while the state government will always have its say. The standing order issued by the department continues to remain in force, but we are trying to safeguard the policy with possible legal measures to ensure that Kannadigas reap the benefits,” the minister said.
The 100% reservation in private sector was announced by the labour department with an amendment to the Karnataka Industrial Employment.